Geek Beat: Honda, Polaroid & LEGO

This week, we followed the Hawaii News Now “Sunrise” morning crew out to the Waialae Country Club for the Sony Open. After some shenanigans with a hot dog, we served another mixed plate of tech news, featuring Honda’s new self-balancing motorcycle, Polaroid’s 3-D pen, and the LEGO Boost system.

Honda unveiled its Riding Assist system not at an auto show, but at CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show). It could be a huge advancement for shorter, smaller, or older riders, keeping itself upright at low speeds. Interestingly, rather than using a gyroscope or other mass-shifting mechanism, it instead uses minute steering inputs to keep the bike balanced.

Speaking of fine motor control, reinvigorated digital technologies company Polaroid this week also unveiled its Play 3-D pen. You can draw in space, and use the special Trace app to draw parts to more complex structures. You can even use the app to draw your favorite photos with plastic filament.

Finally, LEGO takes its robotics kits (like Mindstorm) to the next level with LEGO Boost. This time, the focus isn’t so much on mechanical motors but on programming, using a special app that introduces basic concepts with code “blocks.” The demo is pretty awesome and the concept is sound, but Boost won’t be available until this fall.

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